Reimagining medical workspaces through on-site observations and bodystorming


Clinicians in acute care hospitals experience highly stressful situations daily. They work long, variable hours, complete complex technical tasks, and must also be emotionally engaged with patients and families to meet the caring demands of this profession, which can lead to burnout. In response to these challenges, a multi-disciplinary team from Virginia Tech collaborated with Steelcase to study the impact of medical workspaces on the clinician experience and how those workspaces could be improved to reduce some of the sources of burnout. The team sought to identify conditions that could either aid or hinder clinician workflow and affect burnout rate, then based on interviews and in-situ ethnographic studies, generated design concepts for nurse stations, both centralized and mobile. Using digital and physical full-scale prototypes, we enacted clinical care scenarios to seek feedback and reflect on the design.